I knew whilst building my Ultramarine 30k army that one of my HQ choices just had to be a Master of Signal. I love the idea of an HQ model that isn’t your standard heroic figure in the midst of combat, shouting his head off whilst pointing his sword defiantly at an unseen enemy. In contrast, this model would be standing on a high vantage point just behind the front lines, directing his troops via the comm net, or perhaps relaying coordinates for an artillery or orbital strike to an off-board artillery battery or orbiting battlecruiser.
The Forge World Master of Signal model always struck me as being, well, not very heroic, what with him posed (presumably) keying bombardment coordinates into his wrist mounted keyboard. His helmet looked kind of odd too, what with the enlarged rear portion that made him look like an alien ant space marine. On top of that, making a Forge World order at all was out of the question, with our dollar being so crappy, and with funds urgently needed to finance a trip to Japan later this year.
So I built my own Master of Signal with bits I already had. More pics after the break!
I knew that I wanted to build my Master of Signal in a pose that exuded authority and heroism, whilst still making it obvious that he was a Master of Signal and not just your standard Praetor or Consul. I had picked up the new Devastator boxed set a few months back and made use of the sergeant backpack with the Signum, adding a secondary antenna with a piece of wire to add some height to the model. This guy would be in communication with artillery batteries kilometres away and starships in low orbit – he had to look like he had the communication range to do so!
I added the sheathed power sword from the Sternguard boxed set, which was one of the bits I had lying around that I was just dying to use. It gives him the authoritative and powerful look of a warrior, without resorting to the standard “sword drawn and pointed skyward” look that most marine HQ models have. The left shoulder pad and helmet crest are both from the Ultramarines Upgrade Sprue, whilst the right shoulder pad is from the Devastator box as well.
The real focal point of the model is of course the servo skull in the Master’s right hand, which is also from the Devastator box. I absolutely love this bit and I imagine that the Master of Signal is in the process of activating it, just before it flies off and tracks potential targets for bombardment. I originally had the Master’s arm pointing straight down, but it looked kind of boring and the servo skull really makes the model in my opinion. It’s a happy coincidence I can’t take credit for, but I especially like the way the skull’s halo echoes the halos on his shoulder pads and on his helmet crest.
A quick paint job in standard Ultramarine colors, and the model was done. I’m quite happy with the decision to paint his chest plate gold, as it elevates him even more above the rank and file and really makes him stand out as an HQ model should.
Overall, a wonderful addition to my growing Ultramarines force! Up next is the other HQ choice, and perhaps some bodyguards for said HQ choice…